Saturday, September 4, 2021

ARC Review: Murder by the Bookend by Laura Gail Black

Murder by the Bookend

Laura Gail Black
Series: An Antique Bookshop Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 7, 2021)

Description: Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn sleuths again when a pair of glass bookends puts an end to a librarian's life, in this second installment of Laura Gail Black's cozy series.

The quaint warehouse district of Hokes Folly, NC, is hopping despite the drizzly November chill. The occasion? The mountain town's beloved antiquarian bookstore, Twice Upon a Time, is throwing a bash for its grand reopening. But bookseller Jenna Quinn's peace of mind is shattered when the local library's Director of Antique Books turns up dead in the parking lot--his head bashed in by a glittering pair of vintage glass bookends.

As they examine the murder scene, Jenna and her police detective boyfriend happen upon the only witness--the victim's dog, who flees the scene leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind. If only dogs could speak, Jenna might be able to make quick work of the murder case and get back to stocking her bookcases.

Alas, finding the killer won't be so easy, even though this is not Jenna's first murder investigation--indeed, she inherited Twice Upon a Time from her slain uncle. The suspect list is voluminous--the late librarian had not-so-friendly run-ins with numerous guests--but suspicion eventually centers on three unsavory individuals who left the party shortly before the victim did.

Now, Jenna must edit her inventory of suspects from three names to one, before the bloodthirsty bookend-wielder becomes the author of Jenna's demise.

My Thoughts: Jenna Quinn is hosting her grand re-opening of the bookstore she inherited after her uncle was murdered when this story begins. She has invited all of his best customers to this event not suspecting that murder would be on the program.

When librarian Linus Talbot is found bludgeoned to death with a bookend he won as a door prize, Jenna and her friends Rita and Mason go on the case to discover the murderer (and keep her bookstore from gaining a reputation as the murder capitol of Hokes Folly.) Besides, Linus has left behind his cute rescue dog Eddy who was with him when he died. 

As Jenna investigates, she discovers a politician who had a grudge against Linus who threatened to go to the newspaper about his hypocrisy regarding animal rights, a former employee who had a crush on him but whom he busted for stealing and selling rare books, and a would-be socialite who blamed Linus for lack of wealth and power.

Each of the suspects has what they consider good reasons for wanting Linus dead. But which of them took action? 

Jenna is a great character who wants the best for her friends and clients. She is uncertain about her new relationship with Detective Keith Logan but generally happy. She is reluctant at first to add a dog to her life but Eddy wins her over with his charm and personality. However, she also finds herself in lots of danger in this story because the murderer doesn't want anyone in their way.

This is the second book in the series. I like the way Jenna has grown in confidence and the way she has gathered a new circle of friends. 

Favorite Quote:
"I'm so glad to see you allow animals in your store." Bradford gestured toward Eddy, who sat patiently at Linus's side as the librarian talked to another guest.

I smiled again at the odd pair, the proverbial man and his best friend. "Consider this a trial run."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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